Running with scissors

Actually, so far, running with scissors has been the least of our worries. Children can do so much more damage while holding still.

Yes, this weekend Little Miss decided she didn’t like the haircut she got at the salon and adjusted it with my good sewing scissors. That’ll teach me not to get up before 9 a.m. Then she cut up a bunch of my manuscript paper (the blank sheets, thank heaven) into snowflakes. As if we didn’t have enough outside. Geez.

I remember a couple of years ago, when we started occupational therapy, everyone was concerned that Little Miss’s fine motor skills were so impaired that they didn’t know if she’d even be able to use scissors by the time she got to school.Ha! Showed them, huh?

It’s a fine line we always draw with kids and objects that can be dangerous/messy/ wasted. We want them to be independent, so we let them make their own cereal breakfast on the weekend and come down to find cereal all over the place, the milk carton drained and the kids staring at the tube. Can you make your own sandwich at lunch? Sure–but stop waving the knife! Can we play in the yard? Yes, but don’t speak to anyone, don’t go by the street, don’t pat the stray dogs… the list is endless.

But you want your children to grow up and be self-sufficient. So they should be able to make a sandwich, use a screwdriver, play with the art kit. Gever Tulley takes it a step farther with his video, “5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kid Do.”

Hmm. I don’t know about all that. But I can see why he says it, and it’s even more true for the kids with issues. We do so much FOR them because of their perceived shortcomings, more than we do for their NT siblings. But do we really need to?

The worst scissor incident we ever had was back in my law school days. In my single-mom household, my elementary-aged daughter was cutting paper with Hello Kitty scissors and her younger sister came running out of her room, startling her. #1 daughter reached up in surprise, scissors in hand and jerked as #2 ran into the open scissors, closing them right on the skin of her sister’s stomach. The toddler ended up with an inch-long bloody cut (from HELLO KITTY scissors???) and there was much ado about something. The scar is still a topic of conversation at family get togethers. When we’re not throwing watermelon.

So, we don’t confiscate the scissors, while we have a little talk about leaving hair-styling to the professionals. We teach the right way to use tools and cooking utensils and keep our fingers crossed. After all, my college age-daughter learned so well, she installed my dishwasher, plumbing, electrical and all, and she’s in culinary school, where she keeps the class first aid kit out of bandaids from clips, cuts and burns. But she makes a damn fine pan of Danishes from scratch. Bon appetit.


Do come by and see what my friends have to say at the I Want To Change My Family Tree Blog Carnival,, and also visit Anja Merret and her Carnival of Observations on Life, who’s been the only one brave enough to run my piece on Homeland Security!


7 thoughts on “Running with scissors

  1. reminds me of the time a friend from grad school came in the morning after staying up all night doing reading and bookmarking a big ole scholarly tome to find that her daughter, wanting to read like mama, had removed all the bookmarks!

  2. Funny isn’t it… we do protect our children and do so much to help them because it’s just easier or better or whatever… Horray for Little Miss! She has mastered scissors and injured nothing but blank pages! 🙂 (I’m back– thanks for the Nyquil!)

  3. Very funny! I agree we have to let the kids become independent. It may be difficult–not so much for the danger, but for the messes and the things destroyed. But they’ll be better for it. (Never mind the extra gray hairs we get from it!)

  4. this reminds me of a story my mother loves to tell about my brother and me when we were little. we decided we were going to make the Sunday morning family breakfast before our parents woke up. the menu included bowls of Mapo (not sure I spelled it correctly) – a maple flavored version of oatmeal that I don’t believe is even on the market any more. I was about 5 and my brother was about 3 – we put the dry Mapo in the pan and turned on the heat. we decided to move several of Mom’s house plants from their current pots to new pots while the breakfast cooked! My parents woke up to a house full of smoke and the sickening sweet smell of maple burning and came running down to the kitchen to find plants and dirt all over the kitchen floor!! we were so very proud of ourselves – an emotion not shared by our parents!

  5. Little Miss is definitely not the first child to come up with a new hairstyle for herself, but fortunately, that hasn’t happened here…yet! I remember my sister cutting herself some really short bangs when she was a child, and my brother giving himself and really ugly shaved on the sides/long on the top haircut when he was NOT a child. At least hair grows back…most of the time!

    Independence — Yes, for a while, Hutton was making his own bowls of cereal, but when he was making himself bowls several times a day, we came to a new agreement. And the “I can feed the cats!” was great…until Hutton decided to try the cat food himself, and decided he liked it. Ick. No thanks, sweetie, Mommy will feed the cats. Please DO NOT even look at the cat food.

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